Texas Green Salsa
Austin Texas is Mecca for BBQ and Tex-Mex cuisine. In my opinion, everyone needs to make a pilgrimage at least once. My guess is if you visit once it won’t be your last. I had always heard that it was a great food town but I wasn’t prepared when I first visited back in 2012. I was Charlie and the city was my Chocolate Factory. Step out the front door of your hotel or Airbnb and there is bound to be a taqueria across the street slinging some top tier tacos. My first trip to Austin introduced me to a new type of condiment that slowly became an obsession. Texas Green Salsa.
Bright Green, Spicy, Creamy, Delicious, Texas Green is probably my favorite salsa for tacos or just with a bowl of freshly fried tortilla chips. Texas Green Salsa differs from a traditional salsa verde. Verde is usually a bit runnier, darker olive-colored, and includes tomatillos. I’m well versed in Verde but this new Texas Green had me perplexed. I couldn’t understand where the creaminess came from. For the longest time, I assumed it was from avocados. My first tries were ok but they weren’t like what I had in Austin.
One day I was talking to some co-workers about my Austin trips. They are all butchers/chefs so a good food story is always welcome. I was describing the salsa and my conundrum with the recipe. One of them laughed at my attempts and then proceeded to school me in the ways of Texas Green. He said he had the same problem deciphering the code to this unique condiment. He went on to reveal that he was a regular at a taqueria and was constantly inquiring to the staff about the recipe. Eventually, a sweet woman who worked at the restaurant took pity on him and shared the amazingly simple steps to the salsa.
When he first told me the recipe I couldn’t believe it. So simple and straight forward, How could this be? Despite my skepticism, he assured me 100% this was the answer I had been racking my brain about. I couldn’t believe it. The ingredients include jalapenos, onion, garlic, salt, and the secret to the sauce, vegetable oil. That’s it.
Emulsification is key. This is where the salsa gets its signature creaminess. Boom! My mind was blown the first time I made the recipe and it came out perfect. It all finally made sense. This was the taste of Austin I had been searching for.
Enough story time, let’s get started. We’ll need 2-3 yellow onions and 6-10 jalapenos depending on how spicy you like your salsa. My personal preference is a 50:50 ratio of onion to jalapenos. I like spicy foods, not ghost pepper hot but I like some heat. Take that for what it’s worth. However, I do recommend tasting your jalapenos before you start. I’ve had some fresh locally grown jalapenos that lit me up but I’ve also had some supermarket jalapenos that were lacking in flavor and heat. Adjust the number based on what heat level of peppers you are dealing with. Not all jalapenos are created equal.
In addition to the onions and peppers, we will need 8-10 cloves of garlic and roughly 2 cups of vegetable or other neutral oil like grapeseed. The amount of oil you use depends on how thick you would like your salsa.
Step one, give your onions a rough chop. No need to get fancy it’s going to end up in the blender shortly. Remove the seeds from your jalapenos. Want more heat? Add more jalapenos versus onions. I like to remove as many seeds not because I want to lessen the heat but to keep it as creamy and smooth as possible. Even with the seeds gone this will be spicy enough for 95% of the general public. Next, give the peppers a rough chop.
In a large pot add a splash of vegetable oil and give the onions and garlic a quick sautee. No need for caramelization just get them soft and translucent. Toss in your jalapenos when the onions are getting close to soft. Continue to cook all the ingredients until the onions are starting to get just a hint of browning. At this point, we need to add enough water to the pot just to barely cover the ingredients. Simmer everything until the jalapenos have softened up.
When the jalapenos are soft strain out all the ingredients and add to your blender. Add in a cup of the cooking liquid to the blender along with 1 TBS of salt. Blend until smooth. At this point the mixture will start to transform into Texas Green Salsa. Slowly add a TBS of oil at a time to the mixture while blending. The mixture should start to thicken up and get that signature creamy consistency. Keep adding oil until you’ve got a creamy smooth salsa. Give the salsa a taste. It will likely need a bit more salt. If you find you’ve added too much oil and it’s diluted the onion and pepper flavor too much feel free to add in a bit more of that cooking liquid you saved.
Congrats, you now have one of the best taco toppings of all time. Bottle up the sauce and it should last in your fridge for several weeks if not months. If you make this recipe drop me a comment below and tell me what you thought. I’m excited to see what you make with this wonderful salsa. Take a pic and tag me on social media @ilovemeatdotcom
Texas Green Salsa
This spicy, smooth, creamy Texas Green Salsa is one of my favorite toppings for tacos. One taste brings me back to one of my favorite cities, Austin Texas.
- 2-3 Yellow Onions
- 6-10 Jalapenos
- 8-10 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 cups Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 qt water
Give the onions a rough chop
Remove the seeds from the jalapenos and give them a rough chop
In a large pot add a splash of vegetable oil and give the onions a quick sautee
Add garlic and jalapenos
When the oils start to soften add water until it just barely covers the ingredients
When the jalapenos start to soften remove stain out the ingredients being careful to save the cooking liquid.
Add the ingredients to a blender along with 1 TBS of salt and blend
Slowly add in one TBS of olive oil to the blender until it reaches a smooth creamy consistency
Taste and add some salt or cooking liquid if necessary.
Top your taco with this delicious salsa and enjoy
Tag @ilovemeatdotcom with a picture of your tacos!